Last Tequila Standing: Sal del Mar

Sal Del Mar

IT ALL STARTED WITH ……A GRAIN OF SALT.

sal del mar, last tequila standingAfter I left my job as editor of a home and garden magazine a few years ago, I met a great guy, fell in love, got married and moved to Mexico.  I soon realized I had actually moved to “paradise,” a small beach town on the Sea of Cortez called San Carlos.  I loved the new lifestyle, but it wasn’t long before my creative need to find a new venture began to surface.

I am a “foodie,” even though I am not a great cook. But I love the whole process of choosing a menu, shopping for the ingredients and then spending time preparing a meal with my husband who IS a great cook (yes, he is perfect!)

We discovered that to cook in Mexico you need to give up the idea of finding the same ingredients that you are used to cooking with in the States.  Everything is different.  No long store aisles with endless assortments of salad oils, vinegars, canned tomatoes, cake mixes or even ordinary spices to choose from.
sal del mar, last tequila standing

The salt we bought wasn’t in a pretty round box with a spout to pour it from, but in plastic bags. It was surprising to find it much coarser and more moist than we were used to having.

We loved it immediately.  It had an intense, rustic flavor that was crisp while not sharp and what we really liked was how it enhanced the flavor of our food without disguising the fundamental flavors.  It also only took a pinch to season a dish.

I wanted to know everything about this salt and so began an adventure traveling further south in Mexico along the Sea of Cortez and seeing for myself where the salt was “made.”

sal del mar, last tequila standingThe first thing I learned was how the salt is harvested. Based on ancestral traditions using controlled salt ponds, the Sea of Cortez is allowed to flood huge, flat, shallow beds and then a dam is used to trap the water. The water then naturally evaporates as it is dried by the sun, leaving a layer of salt that is then harvested by hand. As I researched salt more I realized that this was a very special salt.

And so, Sal del Mar was about to be born.  Looking back, it seems that it was meant to be, because near where Sal del Mar is harvested is a small Spanish Colonial village called Alamos.  I was enthralled the first time I saw it. To experience it is as if time stopped there. There are cobble-stone streets, cowboys riding on horseback through the village, and best of all women who sit on street corners embroidering dresses, napkins and bookmarks to sell.  It was as if a light bulb went off.  I have always loved embroidery as an art form and I realized I could have the salt I love “packaged” in hand-embroidered bags.

Soon after the “light bulb,” the most important part of the Sal del Mar story for me came when I was introduced to the women of Sabinito, a small village about 20 miles (and a world away) from Alamos.

sal del mar, last tequila standing

Embroidery is a natural art form for the women of Sabinito, a village in Sonora, Mexico. More often than not, after their daily chores of taking care of the children, cooking and cleaning, they can be found sitting with their hoops and needles embroidering flowers and fanciful creatures.

Recognizing the women’s artistic talent, Sal del Mar created an opportunity to empower the women of Sabinito by having them embroider the bags to package the salt. The partnership with the village women enables them to stay at home and care for their children but still be able to earn money to benefit their families. The underlying belief behind Sal del Mar is that helping each other helps make ours a better world.

The hand embroidered bags are made of natural muslin.  There are over eight current designs…some with whimsical fish, waves and palm trees and others with mermaids (some with Santa hats), hearts and graphics depicting margaritas and giant fish.
And what makes all of them such a keepsake is that the women embroiderers add personal artistic embellishments, giving each bag its own charm.  See the designs in our Shop.

Last Tequila Standing: Azunia Spanish Sparkler

AZUÑIA TEQUILA HERITAGE

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SERGIO ZUÑIGA FAMILY HISTORY

Sergio Zuñiga Family, One of the oldest agave growing families in the Tequila, Jalisco Region of Mexico. The Zuñiga family has generations of expertise in producing tequila made from 100% Weber Blue Agave. Azuñia Tequila originates from these finest quality hand-selected agave plants.

Distilled and bottled by: Rancho Miravalle S/N Amatitan, Jalisco, Mexico NOM 1426

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100% WEBER BLUE AGAVE

Designated Acres in the Tequila Valley
99 year commitment to Intersect Beverage from the Sergio Zuñiga family.
Agave fields range from the valley floor to high on the mountain at Sandoval Planting and harvesting.
100% by hand, volcanic, loamy soils, and no pesticides added.

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Last Tequila Standing: Azunia Tequila

AZUÑIA TEQUILA HERITAGE

Icon: Twitter

SERGIO ZUÑIGA FAMILY HISTORY

Sergio Zuñiga Family, One of the oldest agave growing families in the Tequila, Jalisco Region of Mexico. The Zuñiga family has generations of expertise in producing tequila made from 100% Weber Blue Agave. Azuñia Tequila originates from these finest quality hand-selected agave plants.

Distilled and bottled by: Rancho Miravalle S/N Amatitan, Jalisco, Mexico NOM 1426

Icon: Facebook

100% WEBER BLUE AGAVE

Designated Acres in the Tequila Valley
99 year commitment to Intersect Beverage from the Sergio Zuñiga family.
Agave fields range from the valley floor to high on the mountain at Sandoval Planting and harvesting.
100% by hand, volcanic, loamy soils, and no pesticides added.

Icon: Youtube

Last Tequila Standing: Don Pilar Tequila Tasting

 

Tequila Don Pilar was founded in 1909
Don Pilar Tequila is crafted from 100% Blue Agave. Estate-grown in the Highlands of Jalisco by Don Pilar Contreras. www.donpilar.com

 

40% alc/vol

 

Awards

2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge-Tequila Blanco: 86/100 points. “Strong recommendation.”
2010 Spirits of Mexico-Gold Medal in the Añejo category
2010 Ultimate Spirits Challenge-Semi-finalist, 94/100 points, “Excellent. Highly Recommended.”
2009 SIP Awards-Platinum Medal Winner

 

 

Last Tequila Standing: Don Pilar Agave Nectar Margarita

For more Don Pilar cocktails, visit our Pinterest board by clicking on the image below:

 

Follow Tequila Aficionado’s board Last Tequila Standing: Don Pilar on Pinterest.

 

The Don Pilar Jamaica Margarita

Cocktail Specialist, Manuel Castillo has created this wonderful margarita featuring Tequila Don Pilar Blanco infused with Hibiscus flower.

don pilar, tequilaINGREDIENTS

1 oz Don Pilar Blanco tequila

1 oz Hibiscus Infused Tequila (see recipe below)

¾ oz Lime Juice

½ oz Agave Nectar

2 dashes Chocolate Bitters

2 dashes Orange Bitters

Ice

Ground black volcanic salt

FOLLOW THE DON

Last Tequila Standing: Don Pilar Tequila

 

Ride with Don Pilar!

La Cabalgata Highlands Tequila Tour

Our newest tour offering will take guests on a journey, literally and figuratively, through Highlands Tequila culture.

La Cabalgata History

Cabalgatas (or cavalcades) are traditional Mexican processions on horseback. They are proud expressions of Mexican cowboy culture and religious faith. This particular Cabalgata is held every year on the last Saturday of January. Los jinetes (or horsemen) ride out in the morning from San José de Gracia, a small pueblo in the Highlands of Jalisco. Their trek winds for 30 kilometers through cobblestone roads and countryside and ends at El Sanctuario del Señor de Los Imposibles, a small chapel renowned for its miraculous Christ figure.

The chapel’s story dates back to the 1920s and the Cristero rebellion which was fiercely fought in the Highlands. The Catholic Church and its faith were challenged by the Mexican government (apparently over taxation). Mass was banned, priests were hung from trees, and the faithful rose up against the government. The Cristero fighters led the revolt, and skirmishes were especially heated in the Highlands. The chapel commemorates a famous battle where a small band of Cristeros were able to fight off a large force of government soldiers. The Cristeros were accompanied by a wooden Christ on a crucifix, to whom they attributed their fortune during the fight. Since then, faithful locals from surrounding towns regularly visit the chapel to give thanks to El Señor de Los Imposibles for cures and recoveries that He has bestowed on them.

Our Tour

Come be a part of this incredible celebration. The first full day will be in many ways a quintessential Spirit of Jalisco Tequila Distillery Tour, where we will visit the ranch and agave fields of Don Pilar Tequila (see video), followed by a lunch and tasting at its distillery, just a short drive up the road. Then, the following day, we will rise early on the morning, and head back to San José de Gracia, where each guest will be partnered up with a horse from Don Pilar’s stables (don’t worry, they will be friendly). Once saddled, we will strike out towards El Señor de los Imposibles with about 700 other jinetes involved in the Cabalgata. Stopping only in San Ignacio del Cerro Gordo for a quick bite, each participant will get to drink in the scenary, tradition, culture and of course, Tequila.

Upon reaching El Señor de los Imposibles, the group will experience a beautiful outdoor mass, followed by a lively fiesta in the nearby cactus orchard, with food, drinks and music. Once that is over, we will all head back to San Ignacio for a another local festival that will be taking place.

Click here to learn more about La Cabalgata and how you can ride with Don Pilar!

 

Last Tequila Standing: Nature’s Agave

 

About Nature’s Agave:

Nature’s Agave is a company on a mission – we want to help you enjoy organic sweetness in your quest better foods. Our company offers organic sweeteners in dry powder and syrups to consumers and also to food and beverage companies. Our goal is to help people make better decisions for their bodies when it comes to all things sweet.

We’ve searched throughout the world to find the best ingredients and growers for our brand of premium sweeteners. Our supply comes from growers with a shared passion for all natural, organic and sustainable farming practices. Through every step of the way, from the fields to your table, Nature’s Agave and GoSweet brands are the highest quality, best tasting sweeteners available.

Enjoy our organic, low glycemic, all-natural sweeteners as a sugar replacement. Really, who needs artificial chemicals or sugar highs and lows anyway? And, since our super-sweeteners are sweeter than sugar, you don’t need as much, cutting unnecessary calories from your daily diet.

Try GoSweet Organic Zero Calorie Sweetener and Nature’s Agave Premium Nectar in your coffee and tea, or your favorite recipes. Go ahead, it’s fun to be sweet again!

For more information about Nature’s Agave products or where to find our premium line of retail products, email us at:info@naturesagave.com

For wholesale, bulk, distribution and sales inquiries,
call 888-60-AGAVE (888-602-4283)

For media inquiries, contact
Jenny Gilcrest at jenny@naturesagave.com

Follow Nature’s Agave on:

Nature’s Agave Inc.
P.O. Box 235319

Encinitas, CA, 92023

Last Tequila Standing: Adan y Eva Sinful Margarita

 

blanco, adan y eva

Adam and Eve have been the only privileged humans to live in Paradise, a place selected by God to bring together all of his Creation. By naming our Tequila “Adan y Eva”, we are committed to
offer our consumers a product with the authentic “Taste of Paradise”. Just as God created Adam and Eve united as one, we have also brought together the delicate flavor for the woman and bold for the man in this exquisite blend of Tequila.

Our tequila is handcrafted of 100% Blue Weber Agave, which is the only plant qualified to produce Tequila. Our Agave fields are located in the Highlands of Jalisco, situated in the outskirts of Jesus María, a small town near the city of Arandas, Jalisco.

Our tequila is processed in one of the few 100% Mexican Ownership distilleries in Mexico. We pride ourselves in utilizing the same traditional artisan methods dated back to many centuries ago. We invite you to give into temptation and indulge in your own Taste of Paradise.

Last Tequila Standing: Adan y Eva Tequila

 

Tequila, Adan y Eva

 

 Adan y Eva, tequila

 Adan y Eva tequila is handcrafted of 100% Blue Weber Agave, which is the only plant qualified to produce Tequila. Our Agave fields are located in the Highlands of Jalisco, situated in the outskirts of Jesus María, a small town near the city of
Arandas, Jalisco.

Our tequila is processed in one of the few 100% Mexican Ownership distilleries
in Mexico. We pride ourselves in utilizing the same traditional artisan methods dated back to many centuries ago. We invite you to give into temptation and indulge in your own Taste of Paradise.

Last Tequila Standing: Judging Procedure

 

Last Tequila Standing was filmed in 2011.  It was shopped extensively to television stations across the country but, in 2011, it was before its time.

Thanks to new media and the fact that tequila aficionados are so socially connected today, Last Tequila Standing has finally found a home at Tequila Aficionado.

In this video, M.A. “Mike” Morales discusses the judging procedure used during Last Tequila Standing.

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